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Hiroshima Exposed ~ Cable TV * Pu-238 Idaho


07 August 2005

When I despair, I remember that all through history
the way of truth and love have always won.
There have been tyrants, and murderers,
and for a time they can seem invincible,
but in the end they always fall.
Think of it...always.


Mahatma Gandhi

1) Suppressed Footage of Hiroshima After the Bomb on Cable TV
- - We Must Act Now to Prevent Another Hiroshima - or Worse
2) DOE Plans to Resume Plutonium Production at Idaho National Lab
- - All Things Considered? - U.S. Plans to Produce Plutonium-238 in Idaho

Editor's Notes:

Item 1 had originally been an update from Tom Flocco,
but his story was retracted. From his re-constructed web site,

Tom Flocco posted:

"A rough draft story about the Chicago prosecutor being fired, including many paragraphs and a title that had long since been removed over the last 24 hours was placed online by a new webmaster who was collecting all the files from our previous website. He placed the rough draft file online by mistake and feels very badly about it. This was only a working draft and should never have been placed online. So we retract the rough draft post in its entirety.."

Mistakes will happen, which is a human trait
and another reason why we should never trust human choices
for the development of dangerous nuclear and other weapons
and techbnologies capable of the mass destruction to life.

Item 1 in this revised issue is on the suppression of information and on the horrors of the Hiroshima~Nagasaki atomic-bomb attacks. Finally, released suppressed-footage of the aftermath will be aired on cable television this month by the Sundance station. Item 2 is more on the crazy nuclear direction this world is headed.. Cassini had Plutonium 238 on board. Russia pulled out on the deal to manufacture the isotope for the US for world domination purposes. The poor Idaho potato may take a rough beating on this planned Pu-238 production facility, and neighbors. We all live under one sky.



1) Suppressed Footage of Hiroshima After the Bomb on Cable TV

- - We Must Act Now to Prevent Another Hiroshima - or Worse


Suppressed Footage of Hiroshima After the Bomb to Air on Cable TV
by Sadia Latifi
Published on August 6, 2005 by Knight Ridder

WASHINGTON - Sixty years after the United States dropped two atomic bombs on Japan, a film documenting the aftermath is reminding Americans about the horrors of nuclear war.

Footage from a U.S. government-produced film, which was labeled top secret and kept out of public view for decades, is included in "Original Child Bomb," a documentary that will air on many cable stations Saturday, the 60th anniversary of the day that Hiroshima became the first city to suffer atomic attack.

Its release on the Sundance Channel is the culmination of years of effort to bring the government footage before a large American audience. It's the most extensive exposure yet of this long-suppressed footage in the United States. Some anti-war activists see the film's appearance on cable television as a crucial step toward an open discussion about the controversial bombings that ended World War II.

The young soldiers who shot the film in Hiroshima and Nagasaki less than a month after the dawn of the atomic age were unprepared for what they found.

"It was to me the most horrendous, terrifying thing I had ever seen," camera operator Herbert Sussan, who's now deceased, said in a 1983 interview with the British Broadcasting Corp. "I finally convinced myself and some of these people that there was some value for the rest of the people of the world to see what had happened in this first bombing."

Showing their work to the rest of the world was no easy task. The nine hours of film, shot in color, captured horrifying scenes of destruction and human suffering, including a woman with the pattern of her dress burned onto her back and the shadows of vaporized civilians burned into walls.

U.S. government officials deemed it too sensitive to release. They also confiscated black-and-white footage that a Japanese film crew shot before the Americans arrived.

When Lt. Col. Daniel McGovern, the head of the U.S. film crew, learned about the Japanese crew's earlier effort to document the carnage, he was able to obtain their film and lobby successfully to hire some of them for his project.

"I felt there was a need to tell this story," McGovern told the BBC for a 1983 report that used footage from the American film project. "If it were not captured and shown to people, no one would ever know what happened."

McGovern and Sussan were appalled when their footage was kept from public view and used only for military-training videos. Over the years, Sussan repeatedly asked for its public release, appealing as high as President Truman and Robert F. Kennedy.

"Every time I sought to obtain the footage, I came up against a brick wall," he told the BBC.

Sussan, who was 24 when he went to Japan, paid a personal price for his involvement in the project. Like many of the people he filmed, he developed lymphoma, a form of cancer, and died in 1985. He wanted his ashes to be spread at ground zero in Hiroshima, but when his daughter traveled there a year later to fulfill his wish, she was told that it would be illegal.

The Japanese government continually asked the United States for its footage, which had been transferred to the National Archives in Washington by September 1967. After negotiations with the State Department, a copy of the black-and-white newsreel was shipped to Japan in the summer of 1968.

Erik Barnouw, a film historian, created a moving 16-minute montage from the Japanese footage that screened in New York for the news media; all three major TV networks rejected it. Editorials criticized the move, and on Aug. 3, 1970, a public broadcast station aired the short to mark the 25th anniversary of the bomb. It would be nearly 10 more years before the American footage would emerge.

Greg Mitchell, who detailed the story behind the Hiroshima footage in a recent issue of Editor & Publisher magazine, said the postwar movie should be part of any debate about nuclear war.

"These guys weren't anti-nuclear, they were for frank showing of what the truth was," he said of Sussan and McGovern. "It's the right of people to see what's done in their name."

---

"Original Child Bomb" will premiere on the Sundance Channel this weekend, along with two other movies related to nuclear power, to commemorate the 60th anniversary of the bombing in Japan.

Airtimes according to the channel's Web site
:
Saturday at 8 p.m.

Tuesday, August 9th at 4:30 p.m.

Aug. 14 at 3:30 p.m.

Aug. 19 at 2 p.m.

Aug. 24 at noon.


Check your local listings for more up-to-date information. The Sundance Channel is available via satellite television and cable television. To find out if your provider offers Sundance Channel, call (800) SUN-FILM.

Copyright 2005 Knight Ridder
www.realcities.com
###

www.commondreams.org/headlines05/0806-01.htm

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- - We Must Act Now to Prevent Another Hiroshima - or Worse
by Noam Chomsky


The explosions in London are a reminder of how the cycle of attack and response could escalate.

Published on Saturday, August 6, 2005 by the lndependent/UK:
http://comment.independent.co.uk/commentators/article303965.ece
and posted at:
www.commondreams.org/views05/0806-25.htm



2) DOE Plans to Resume Plutonium Production at Idaho National Lab

- - All Things Considered? - U.S. Plans to Produce Plutonium-238 in Idaho


DOE Plans to Resume Plutonium Production at Idaho National Lab

The Department of Energy (DOE) released a draft environmental impact study on 28 June 2005 that endorses its long-discussed decision to resume production of Plutonium-238 (Pu-238) at the Idaho National Laboratory (INL). In addition to Pu-238 production, INL would also become the new home for processes of Pu-238 manufacture and purification that previously took place at the Los Alamos, New Mexico, and Oak Ridge, Tennessee, National Laboratories.

The Pu-238 produced at INL would be used to create space batteries, ostensibly for "national security" purposes and to power NASA space crafts. Construction of a new Pu-238 complex to accommodate the consolidation would, if approved, be finished by 2009 and cost up to $300 million.

Proponents of consolidating the plutonium battery production at INL say the move would significantly increase the safety of dealing with radioactive nuclear materials. If the processes of plutonium isolation and its manufacture into pellets are moved from Los Alamos National Laboratory (LANL) to INL, the materials would not have to be transported across the country.

Although it discontinued Pu-238 production in the late ‘80s, the DOE has planned to resume production for many years due to an expected shortfall that will occur in 2010. The DOE is also proposing to build a second, smaller Pu-238 production facility at Oak Ridge laboratory.

Pu-238 has a half-life of 88 years, which is much shorter than the 24,000-year half-life of Plutonium-239 used in the manufacture of nuclear weapons, but it is much more radioactive than Pu-239. In August 2003, a Pu-238 spill took place at the LANL's Plutonium facility, which the DOE has been trying unsuccessfully to decontaminate ever since. Employees have accidentally been exposed to plutonium on three different occasions at LANL

The final decision on whether the INL will take on the program will take place later in the summer. A DOE public hearing concerning the decision will likely be held in Idaho in late July. Public comments to the DOE will be accepted at consolidationeis@nuclear.energy.gov.

According to Jeremy Maxand, Executive Director of the Snake River Alliance, it is highly probable that the new Pu-238 production would be used as part of the US' ongoing drive to weaponize space. According to Maxand, "Though we've been told the plutonium batteries aren't used in nuclear weapons, missile defense, or earth-orbiting satellites, we've also been told that the national security mission could change. We'd never know, of course. It would be a secret change to a secret."

In addition, the INL's Naval Reactors Facility may soon be outfitted to design and ultimately manufacture nuclear reactors for space missions – including a possible manned mission to Mars – that need more energy than that provided by the batteries.

O'Neil, Kathleen, " Idaho Could Be Hub for Plutonium, Space Work," Idaho Register, 11 June 2005; Maxand, Jeremy, "Proposed Plutonium Factory Has High Potential for Harm to Idahoans," Idaho Statesman, 28 June 2005; " Idaho lab may begin plutonium production," Idaho State Journal, 28 June 2005.

Resource: http://www.wagingpeace.org/menu/resources/sunflower/2005/07_sunflower.htm

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- - All Things Considered? - U.S. Plans to Produce Plutonium-238 in Idaho

NPR - All Things Considered
U.S. Plans to Produce Plutonium-238 in Idaho
by Martin Kaste

August 4, 2005 Fifteen years ago, the United States stopped making plutonium-238, one of the most toxic substances known to man. It can be fatal to inhale so much as a speck of the radioactive isotope. But now, citing national security needs, the government is preparing to start making it again at a federally owned site in the Idaho desert.

Plutonium-238 is far more radioactive than its cousin, plutonium-239, which is used in bombs. It's so radioactive, it stays hot to the touch for decades. It is useless for commercial nuclear power plants, but ideal to make small, long-lasting batteries for devices such as space probes and espionage equipment.

For the complete article, see:
www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=4780813


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